National Student Clearinghouse

Overview

NSC provides education verification and student educational outcomes research to its customers. More than 3,000 participating colleges and universities provide access to their enrollment and degree records in compliance with the FERPA privacy act. Per its enterprise architecture plan (EA), NSC consolidated all its infrastructure using Oracle Fusion Middleware. NSC uses Oracle’s weblogic infrastructure to deliver an extensive set of educational records and reports to its customers. As a sub-contractor of MiCore solutions, KP SOFT designed and developed the framework for managing NSC’s diverse and vast user communities and their report access layer. This framework is also used to provide NSC’s users with secure, reliable and role-based access to its data sets. KP SOFT consultants also created reports to track usage of data sets.

Challenges

Student data (collected from colleges and universities as batch jobs) is stored in a multitude of DB schemas that were designed according to NSC’s overall business function models. While respective applications provided data access to each of the underlying datasets, a consolidated portal view was required for users who wished to run ad hoc and standard reports. Critical challenges that were observed by the stakeholders included, but were not limited to:

  • The data residing in various databases was not providing the full picture needed for analysis and decision making.
  • Multiple data sets were referring to similar datasets using different nomenclature.
  • The existing data warehouse could not provide real-time access to certain data sets that change on a daily basis.
  • A consistent reporting layer with a data virtualization capability (of certain underlying data sets) was required.
  • Secure access to these data sets was required.

Solution

  • Created an analytics service layer for synchronizing semantic/metadata information.
  • Created reports services that provided virtualized data access to all underlying databases.
  • Created user account identity structures for all user communities.
  • Implemented Secure web Services to share data and reports.
  • Created reports and well-defined layouts using Oracle BI tools.